Creating a Rapport at your Interview
In psychological terms creating a rapport means to create an intense harmonious accord with another person. In essence it is the ability to make someone feel an emotional affinity with you, to feel at ease. To be able do this in your audit interview can considerably raise your chances of being offered your dream internal or external auditing job.
After putting effort into writing your covering letter and CV, and then getting an interview, you will want to make sure you are as prepared as possible. Many will think that preparing for an interview means knowing the company back to front, however this should just be part of your interview preparation. The immediate impression your interviewer gets from you can be critical to the impression they hold of you for the rest of the interview process. This means that creating a rapport with them can be the key to your success and help you get that audit job.
When you meet someone for the first time you will immediately process a number of factors about them by their appearance; their shoes, clothes, hair, posture and handshake are all things you see before the person has even spoken a word. They are what we call the non-verbal clues to a person’s personality.
When you walk in to the interview room, your interviewer will already be making a decision about you; by the way you walk, the way you sit and stand, and even the way you smile. You should take careful consideration when thinking about your appearance for an interview; this is why it is important to plan the things such as your outfit and hair before the day of the interview.
Depending on the impression you want to give, it is important to take into consideration the type of clothes you will be wearing. For example, certain colours of clothes can give off different impressions; for instance dark colours present’s authority, lighter colours show a more caring side to you or a sense of humour and blues, such as navy, are known for being a universally pleasing colour that works well in a professional environment. Your hair style can come across in many lights; it could be seen as sensible, cutting-edge, formal or friendly depending on how you have it. Jewellery and make-up also come in to factor; lots of jewellery can suggest power or wealth and as with make-up it can be seen as either glamorous or professional.
Take a genuine interest:
Remembering to take a genuine interest in your interviewer can help to make you and them (they are human remember) to feel more at ease throughout the interview process. The best way to do this is to imagine that they are a guest in your home, make them feel comfortable, be glad to see them, the aim is to make them feel at ease in your presence.
You can do this by remembering to initially smile, make eye contact with them, be sincere and use your listening skills. Be the first to say hello and extend your hand, use the person’s name. However, it must be noted that you should do this in moderation, try to remember how you are being perceived, you don’t want to come across as false.
Match and Mirror:
Matching and mirroring is a great skill to have when creating a rapport, yet it is not one which should be overdone. If it is overplayed then it can come across as false and may look like you are mocking the interviewer. However, when used subtly it can be a powerful interview tool.
Now that you have been warned against over doing it, you need to know exactly what it is and how to do it. In essence it is to match another person’s behaviour to create a rapport. Often when you see two people with a great rapport they will also be mirroring one another’s body language, they will seem in unison. To do this you will need to match and mirror a number of factors.
Speech, breathing, tone, movement, gestures and energy levels of the other person are key elements in a person’s overall image. Therefore you should aim to;
- Match the speed, tone and sound of your voice to theirs.
- Match the rate of breathing and energy levels of the interviewer.
- Take note of how the interviewer uses and presents information. Do they like to talk in detail or do they talk about the general picture? Try to relay information back to them in a similar way.
- Mirror their body language and posture; however aim to use this sparingly as it can be obvious when it is overdone.
It is also important to never mirror anger; in this case you should show concern.
Finally, practice makes perfect:
It is essential to your success that you practice and develop your good rapport skills prior to your audit interview. The overall effect needs to come off as natural. You should come across as similar but not the same as the interviewer. For example, if your interviewer is sat with their arms crossed in front of them, then you should have your arms crossed on your lap.
Remember that creating a rapport is to create a connection; therefore you should use your eyes and voice as they are the easiest ways to make your interviewer feel at ease.
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